We all know transparency trumps all in contract logistics. Even better if this can be generated as efficiently as possible: Transport and logistics service provider Gebrüder Schröder GmbH & Co. KG relies on the Linde Warehouse Navigator powered by RELAG-System®, which not only speeds up and simplifies processes on site, but also visualizes stock levels in real time for customers too. You can find the case study of our Parner Linde Material Handling here.
Joachim Altmann, Managing Director Gebrüder Schröder GmbH & Co. KG:
“We handle national transport for our customers as a service provider and also offer warehouse management as part of that,” explains Altmann. One of the company’s focuses is building materials, particularly tiles. “The overview of current stocks and individual batches can sometimes not be good enough there—for us or our clients.” So when it came to the new construction of a warehouse scheduled for 2019, thoughts also turned to the implementation of a new warehouse management system.
Now the warehouse and rack system are in place, as well as the software system. Put another way: It’s running like clockwork, as the saying goes. “We kicked off with the Linde Warehouse Navigator for a customer in the new indoor warehouse. The processes are relatively simple here: pallets in, pallets out,” says project manager Jörg Hoffmann. When a truck arrives in the yard, the forklift truck drivers scan the customer label with all the relevant info—from item number to batch to weight. These data are then “married” with the Linde Warehouse Navigator using a unique TU number generated on site (transport unit number). In the warehouse, the employees decide on the storage location.
Project manager Jörg Hoffmann:
“There are barcodes on the racks at eye level, structured using a traffic light system. Red for top, yellow for middle, green for bottom. So when colleagues are storing items high up with their Linde reach trucks , they can still easily scan at eye height with the scanner guns.” When the storage level is confirmed, the Linde Warehouse Navigator knows where to find which goods. The trick here: “This information isn’t just available in-house; customers can view their stock levels remotely at any time via a special interface,” Hoffmann is pleased to say.
The thinking at Schröder was that if it’s working well inside, let’s do it outside too. “We use our huge outdoor area to store tiles for a second large client, among other things. The situation is more complex here, because we are order picking and are also reliant on exact batch management,” says Hoffmann. And of course, tiles are natural products. When an end customer re-orders the same tiles for the same project, these must come from the same batch, so that there are no differences in color shades. It sounds relatively challenging logistically—and it was, until the introduction of the new warehouse management system, as Bernd Heinz, warehouse logistics team leader, confirms: “I had to keep fighting my way through sheets of paper and site maps to find what was out here or where each batch was.” Today, the whole process is much easier and entirely paper-less.
The overall situation since the go-live in October 2021 is clear and has concrete facts to back it up. Schröder Managing Director Altmann sums it up: “By ending manual order entry alone, we are saving about four hours of valuable working time a day.” And while we’re talking savings: there’s also no need to reorganize the outdoor warehouse because the Linde Warehouse Navigator can be adapted exactly to individual needs by the network partner. “Everything comes together perfectly here in one smooth process: from the rack to the reach mast to the robust 5-ton trucks outside. And above all our digital warehouse management. Overall, everything runs faster, more transparently, and practically error-free.” In future, says Hoffmann, it is likely that further clients will be integrated into the Linde Warehouse Navigator. “After all, I don’t know any customers who wouldn’t be happy with the principle of ‘costs down, value creation up’.”